20 Best Batman Christmas Stories

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20 Best Batman Christmas Stories

DC Comics

For whatever reason, Batman has translated extremely well to stories about Christmas. Here, then, in order, are the twenty best Batman Christmas comic book stories.  

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20. A Christmas Peril

DC Comics

 From 1944's Batman #27, this Don Cameron and Jerry Robinson tale is an interesting variation on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. A young boy has embraced his nickname of "Scrooge" and has cornered the market on Christmas trees. However, his advisers are hiding from him that the reason that he's making SO much money selling Christmas trees is that they are terrorizing all of the other Christmas tree sellers in Gotham City. The boy's uncle (dressed as Santa Claus because...well...just because) has shown up to become his guardian, but that's not until January 1st, and the boy's advisers plan on stealing all his money before then (and killing him and his uncle if need be). Batman and Robin kidnap the boy and show him visions of Christmas Past and Present to show him the effects his dishonest Christmas tree racket has had on an old man and a younger man. Once the bad guys are dispatched, the young boy spends all of the money he spent selling Christmas trees to instead purchase toys for the boys and girls of Gotham City, delivered via Batman's Bat-Plane. 

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19. A Christmas Riddle

DC Comics

In this twist-filled story by Paul Dini, Ty Templeton and Rich Burchett from 1995's Batman and Robin Adventures #3, the Riddler has broken into a holiday celebration of all the richest men in Gotham City and he reveals that he has figured out that one of them MUST be the Batman! It's a major society gathering, so Bruce Wayne must be there, right? Well, the answer to that is one of the many twists in this tale. 

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18. Christmas

DC Comics

In this earliest Batman Christmas story ever from 1941's Batman #9 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos, Batman and Robin discover a young boy at an orphanage who insists that his father, in prison for life for murder, is innocent. Naturally, the boy is tiny Tim Cratchit and his father is Bob Cratchit. Batman and Robin prove Bob's innocence and everyone celebrates Christmas together, including Bruce Wayne's then-love interest, Linda Page. 

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17. The Mystery of Christmas Lost!

DC Comics

In 1976's Batman #285 by David V. Reed, Romeo Tanghal and Frank Springer, the villainous Dr. Tzin-Tzin plots to make Gotham City forget Christmas! Batman fights through his various illusions (including fighting a bear on a Christmas tree!) and saves the day. However, it is too late for Dick Grayson to get his girlfriend a present for Christmas. Luckily, Bruce Wayne has a stash of jewelry that he can give to Dick to give to his girlfriend - the perks of being a multi-millionaire playboy!

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16. Good Ol' St. Nicholas

DC Comics

In the opening story of 1994's The Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1, the co-creators of Batman: The Animated Series, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, collaborate on this charming story where Harvey Bullock is undercover as a department store Santa Claus while Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon is there shopping for he father. Bullock and his partner, Renee Montoya (dressed as an elf), are there to stop some shoplifters. The shoplifters turn out to be Clayface!! Batgirl must help save the day. 

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15. A Slaying Song Tonight

DC Comics

 In this short story from 1996's Batman: Black and White #3, Denny O'Neil and Teddy Kristiansen show Batman tracking down a killer dressed as Santa Claus. It's a simple story, but Kristiansen's off-kilter artwork really makes it stand out. 

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14. White Christmas

DC Comics

 In the third story from 1995's The Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1, Paul Dini and Glen Murakami tell the story of Mister Freeze deciding to make sure that Gotham City has a White Christmas in honor of his dearly departed wife, Nora, who loved snow on Christmas. Murakami's artwork is stunning, both the shot of Batman helping a little girl whose family is stranded due to the snow and this amazing sequence where Batman makes sure to replace the Christmas wreath on his parents' tomb. 

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13. The Night the Mob Stole X-Mas!

DC Comics

This story from 1978's The Brave and the Bold #148 by Bob Haney, Jim Aparo and Joe Staton begins with Batman trying to shut down a bootleg cigarette operation (something he hilariously refers to as "buttlegging," a phrase Haney makes sure to repeat a number of times). Eventually, he and his guest star for the issue, Plastic Man, head down to Florida to take down a buttload of mobsters. Any comic that involves the phrase, "Let's start high-ballin' ourselves...for the Sunshine State!" cannot be bad in my book. 

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12. Have Yourself a Deadly Little Chriatmas

DC Comics

1979's Batman #309 by Len Wein, John Calnan and Frank McLaughlin has Batman run up against the nearly mindless man mountain known as Blockbuster. While Blockbuster is NEARLY mindless, he is not so far gone that when he comes across a young woman who has just tried to kill herself through an overdose of sleeping pills, that he cannot keep himself from taking her and trying to save her. Of course, since he is still PRETTY mindless, he ends up stuck on an ice floe with her, with Batman trying to save them both. In the end, Blockbuster sacrifices himself to save the woman, who now has a reason to live. 

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11. Favorite Things

DC Comics

This 1995 Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #79 story was written by a young Mark Millar, before he became a superstar writer. Drawn by Steve Yeowell and Dick Giordano, it sees Batman tearing a path throughout the Gotham underworld to find items stolen from a series of Gotham City mansions, including Wayne Manor! As it turns out, he is trying to find the last Christmas present his parents gave him before their passing. 

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10. Christmas

DC Comics

 In the third issue of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman classic, The Long Halloween, the Joker is angry at the attention being given to the holiday-themed serial killer known as Holiday. It is positively ruining his Christmas. He then terrorizes the movers and shakers of Gotham City to drive them to capture the killer, including visiting mob boss Carmine Falcone and Gotham District Attorney, Harvey Dent. 

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9, Parole for Christmas

DC Comics

 Bill Finger and Charles Paris were the creative team on this story from 1947's Batman #45, where a prisoner on 24-hour parole for the holidays finds himself near death after being killed due to his refusal to take part in a prison break the next day (his cell blocks the exit - with him dead, the escapees have a clear getaway). As it turns out, Eddie is a dead ringer for Bruce Wayne, so Batman actually impersonates Eddie to foil the crime. As the same time, Batman also impersonates Eddie with Eddie's girlfriend (including a kiss under the mistletoe). In the end, the escape is foiled and Eddie's help leads to a full parole and an engagement with his girlfriend (and a reunion with his kid brother, who has been staying with Eddie's girlfriend while he was in jail). 

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8. Batman's Last Christmas

DC Comics

 In 1981's The Brave and the Bold #184, by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo, Batman's whole world is turned upside down when he discovers records on a crook dressed as Santa Claus that seem to implicate his late father in the financing of a criminal empire. When Batman meets with Thomas Wayne's accountant, it seems all true - Thomas Wayne was an investor with the mob! Bruce Wayne then quits being Batman, as he feels like a fool to honor the memory of a crook. However, luckily, he eventually figures out that it is all a scam perpetrated by the Wayne's old accountant. By the way, look at the above image. Notice the green arrow next to the crook dressed as Santa Claus? That was one of Jim Aparo's famous hints where he would put in some visual clue into issues of The Brave and the Bold to let readers know who Batman was teaming up with in the next issue. In this case, it was Green Arrow, naturally. He has a whole pile of other hints

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7. Slayride

DC Comics

One of the all-time great Joker stories, 2006's Detective Comics #826 by Paul Dini, Don Kramer and Wayne Faucher, has Joker kidnap Robin and take him for a terrifying drive around Gotham City, terrorizing the citizens while they do their holiday shopping. Can Robin find a way to get himself free and stop the Clown Prince of Crime?  

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6. Wanted: Santa Claus - Dead or Alive!

DC Comics

Released in 1979's DC Special Series #21 just a few months after he had taken over as the regular artist on Daredevil and thus begun his journey to comic book stardom, young Frank Miller drew Batman for the first time (seven years before his famous Dark Knight Returns) in this tale by writer Denny O'Neil (Miller is inked by Steve Mitchell) where a reformed Salvation Army Santa Claus is coerced into helping break in to a department store. He refuses to go along, so they decide to kill him. They're about to do the job when a star shines brightly, distracting the bad guy and allowing Batman to save the day. But where did the star come from? Was it a Christmas miracle? 

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5. The Harley and the Ivy

DC Comics

 In the most famous story from 1994's The Batman Adventures Holiday Special, Paul Dini and Ronnie Del Carmen have Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn brainwash Bruce Wayne and have him take them on a holiday shopping spree. The story was later adapted for an episode of The New Batman Adventures

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4. Noel

DC Comics

Lee Bermejo wrote and painted this 2011 graphic novel that tells a variation on Dickens' A Christmas Carol, as Batman ("Scrooge") must determine what to do with Bob, who works for the Joker but is just trying to help support his young boy, Tim. The ghost of Jason Todd is the Jacob Marley of the tale, with Catwoman, Superman and the Joker being the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, respectively. Bermejo's artwork is breathtaking. 

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3. Silent Night, Deadly Night

DC Comics

In this 1971 tale from Batman #239 (one of the top Christmas stories of all-time) by Denny O'Neil, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano, Batman runs afoul of a down on his luck man who resorts to crime to feed his young daughter. He then decides to kill the miserly owner of the company that downsized him. Batman and the little girl chase after her father, using a magically appearing sleigh to reach him just as we see that he decides not to kill the old man at the last minute but to instead save the old man from the heart attack he was having when the younger man entered the house to kill him. In the end, Batman forgives the younger man and helps him get back on to his feet. The comic came with an awesome Neal Adams cover. 

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2. Yes, Tyrone, There is a Santa Claus

DC Comics

In this delightfully bizarre Christmas story from Infinite Holiday Special #1 (easily one of the most acclaimed Christmas stories of the past twenty-five years), Kelley Puckett and Pete Woods have Superman receive a letter from a young boy in Metropolis who doesn't believe in Santa Claus. Superman decides to give the boy a Christmas surprise by dressing as Santa. On the way there, though, Batman stops him, convincing him that his powers are needed for greater deeds than something like this. Superman reluctantly agrees, but then decides he might as well give the kid the presents he bought for him. When he shows up at the kid's home, however, he discovers that Bat-Santa has swept in and taken the Christmas glory for himself! I won't spoil for you what happens after Bat-Santa winks at Superman, but trust me, it is worth every penny of buying this comic just to see the final page in all of its glory. 

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1. The Silent Night of the Batman

DC Comics

Regarded as not just the greatest Batman Christmas story but perhaps THE greatest Christmas comic story of all-time, this 1969 story from Batman #219 by Mike Friedrich, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.sees Batman visit the Gotham City Police Department and sing some Christmas Carols until the next crime is committed in Gotham. Shockingly, he ends up singing all night, as some sort of Christmas magic keeps preventing crimes and other bad deeds from occurring (like a war widow almost kills herself before she sees that her husband was erroneously ruled as Killed in Action). Some absolutely stunning Neal Adams artwork goes along with this oddly wonderful Christmas gem. 

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Your Citation
Cronin, Brian. "20 Best Batman Christmas Stories." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2016, thoughtco.com/best-batman-christmas-stories-327082. Cronin, Brian. (2016, August 25). 20 Best Batman Christmas Stories. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-batman-christmas-stories-327082 Cronin, Brian. "20 Best Batman Christmas Stories." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-batman-christmas-stories-327082 (accessed November 20, 2017).